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National Weather Service issues special advisory

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... A BRIEF BOUT OF WINTRY WEATHER EXPECTED TONIGHT AND EARLY FRIDAY FOR WESTERN AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO...

A STORM SYSTEM WILL SLIDE INTO NEW MEXICO TONIGHT INCREASING THE CHANCES FOR LIGHT TO MODERATE ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING. SNOW LEVELS WILL DROP FROM WEST TO EAST... CHANGING RAIN OVER TO SNOW... OR TO A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW. PRECIPITATION WILL FAVOR AREAS FROM THE SANDIA... MANZANO... AND NORTHERN SACRAMENTO MOUNTAINS WESTWARD TO THE ARIZONA BORDER.

AT THIS TIME... CONFIDENCE IS HIGH THAT SNOW WILL OCCUR. HOWEVER... CONFIDENCE REMAINS LOW ON LOCATIONS THAT WILL RECEIVE THE GREATEST AMOUNTS. IN GENERAL... HIGH TERRAIN AREAS... INCLUDING THE SANDIA AND MANZANO MOUNTAINS AS WELL AS ALONG THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE SHOULD RECEIVE THE MOST SNOWFALL... PERHAPS UP TO 4 INCHES. HOWEVER... LOWER ELEVATION LOCALES COULD SEE 1 TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW AS WELL IF SNOW BANDS SET UP OVER THESE AREAS.

MOST OF THE SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR BY MIDNIGHT ACROSS FAR WESTERN LOCALES... WITH THE FOCUS SHIFTING TOWARD THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT. THIS TIMING MAY CREATE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS... INCLUDING ACROSS THE ALBUQUERQUE METRO AREA... FOR THE MORNING RUSH HOUR COMMUTE.

FLURRIES WILL LINGER OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN FRIDAY AFTERNOON BEFORE CLEARING DEVELOPS OVER THE REGION.